Review by Shawn M. Haney (allmusic.com)
Taking the listener on a smoother, rather than bumpier, ride down the moonlight highway of jazz is Wes Montgomery, a chief architect of the world’s guitar virtuoso scene. Not only is his brilliant command of the six-string present here, so is the vivid color tones of notes and blue notes played between. Backed up by a hauntingly beautiful and mesmerizing orchestra conducted and arranged by Don Sebesky, the music almost lifts the listener off his feet into a dreamy, water-like landscape. The atmosphere is serene and enchanting, such as a romantic evening for two under starlight, and certainly a romantic eve merits the accompaniment of this record. The sounds are soft, smooth, and silky, and Montgomery addresses full leadership of his graceful melodic style, fronting close to 20 members of a orchestra perhaps best described resonant and sweeping. So too are the sweeping note flows of Montgomery’s guitar, and his surprising fluidness towards the art of comping, a necessary trait of the jazz guitar virtuoso. Even the unforgettable Jim Hall can be tickled and intrigued through a listen of these influential records, as for all amateur and professional guitar musicians. “A Quiet Thing” is perhaps the most somber, peaceful, and smooth piece on the record, demonstrating Montgomery’s love of quiet, and how much the idea of not playing at all brings music to the listeners. The charming sounds of orchestral violas, violins, cellos, and harp are sent ablaze to create a pleasant atmosphere, either for a quick morning get up, get ready for work, or evening dining setting. “Here’s That Rainy Day” is an up-tempo bossa nova tune that resonates with Montgomery’s enticing chordal changes and blissful phrasing, not to mention the blend of harp and strings lays the groundwork for a perfect rainy day inside, with drops pattering at the windows and fires aglow. The recording engineer did a wonderful job with this album. The sound quality is clear and lush, and, overall, this collection of mid-’60s cool jazz is a delight to listen too, once and again.
01 – Bumpin’
02 – Tear it Down
03 – A Quiet Thing
04 – Con Alma
05 – The Shadow of Your Smile
06 – Mi Cosa
07 – Here’s That Rainy Day
08 – Musty
09 – Just Walkin’
10 – My One and Only Love
11 – Just Walkin’ (previously unissued)
Wes Montgomery – guitar, with Arnold Eidus, Lewis Eley, Paul Gershman, Louis Haber,
Julius Held, Harry Lookofsky, Joe Malignaggi, Gene Orloff, Sol Shapiro (violing);
Harold Coletta, David Schwartz (viola); Charles McCracken, George Ricci (cello);
Margaret Ross (harp); Roger Kellaway (piano); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Grady Tate (drums);
Don Sebesky (arranger, conductor)
On tracks 3 and 4; Helcio Milito (drums), replaces Grady Tate.
Recorded 1965 at Van Gelder Recording Studio, ENglewood Cliffs, New Jersey; tracks 7-9 and 11 on
May 16; tracks 2 and 5 on May 18; tracks 3 and 4 on May 19; and tracks 1, 6 and 10 on May 20.
Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork